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Xrayser: I'd rather go through divorce than change my PMR system again

"After pointless calls to the no-help desk trying to split a label, I finished with a splitting headache"

Changing the patient medication record (PMR) system is more stressful than moving house or a GPhC inspection, says Xrayser

“I just want to split a label for 70ml into two labels of 35ml!” I cried into the phone, my voice raised and echoing around the dispensary, while the staff put their heads down and got on with their work – or at least they would have if they had known how to. I’d been on to our PMR system's help desk for nearly half an hour trying to perform one of the simplest and most common actions in a dispensary, except that on our newly installed system I no longer knew how.

It’s said that a person will change their spouse more readily than change their bank, and I guess that’s also true of our PMR systems. It’s the fundamental bedrock of the dispensary and, in our ‘high knowledge’ profession, to be able to quickly and easily access information about our prescriptions is essential. So I should have anticipated a frequent appearance of Sod’s law when the installation day started with the engineer finding we hadn’t had the data from our old PMR system extracted in advance. The conversion therefore had us unable to dispense for over an hour, but worse was to follow once the new system was finally installed.

“Where are your returned EPS tokens?” asked the PMR trainer. “Did they not tell you to spend last week returning all the downloaded EPS to the spine?”

“No,” I replied through gritted teeth, “they did not”. Consequently the engineer had to remove all the newly installed hardware and jury-rig our old PMR system so that we could start returning over 900 repeat dispensing EPS tokens that were sat on our old system.

Additional problems with configuration and faulty hardware meant that the new PMR system wasn’t up and running until late afternoon and the trainer had only two hours left with us. Trying to tick off what should have taken half a day, her fingers whirred away on the keyboard like a virtuoso pianist playing allegrissimo, until suddenly it was closing time and with a cry of “just call the help desk for anything” she was out the door presto.

And so, at 9.05am the next day, I am indeed calling the help desk to determine how to split a label. “No,” I keep saying, “I don’t need to set up instalment dispensing, nor an owing or a loan. Have you never worked in a dispensary?” Of course they hadn’t. Which explains why the button I needed to press wasn’t the one marked “split”, but marked “add”. No wonder that after pointless calls to the no-help desk trying to split a label, I finished the day with a splitting headache.

They say the most stressful life events include divorce, moving house and GPhC inspection, but I would more readily go through any of these than change my PMR system again.

A long-running C+D contributor, the identity of Xrayser remains a mystery, but his irreverent views are known by all. Tweet him @Xrayser


s8chy P, Pharmacy owner/ Proprietor

Rxweb is fine. 
we have had it since the beginning when it was called Pharmasys! its always been a decent PMR. Its much better these days as its on new and fast servers. When the internet goes down in any pharmacy, EPS wont work so rxweb is not any worse off in this scenario.

We are able to do all basic tasks on rxweb, so i dont understand why any pharmacist has issue with it.

My only issue with rxweb is development - there are not enough innovative developments coming through. 

Farmer Cyst, Community pharmacist

I've been out of the locuming game for a bit - is there any PMR anywhere close to as awful as Compass at Lloyds? That was truly abysmal (like most things about Lloyds pharmacy)

Leon The Apothecary, Student

Nothing beats Compass. I was trying to access the tracker today, and their firewalls prevented me from accessing the website. Truly a dumpster fire of a PMR.

A.S. Singh, Community pharmacist

proscript the best but most expensive

Tired Manager, Community pharmacist

This must be RxWeb... you’ll be changing back soon

james laurence, Community pharmacist

I have changed both my pharmacies to rx web it is excellent and very user friendly and the help desk is very good I don’t know who I didn’t change to it years ago I would never go back to proscripts it was useless as was the help desk it also helps that rx web is also half the price


Tired Manager, Community pharmacist

Perhaps you weren’t there during the “dark days” in 2015 before the new servers were up and running. Minimum 250+ EPS per month unobtainable rapidly advanced my hair loss.

Honest Pharmacist, Community pharmacist

Normally I would agree with you... but as I am going through a divorce because my husband cheated on me with one of his pharmacy staff... and having been through the experience of a new PMR system... I would still choose the latter any day... :(

Chemical Mistry, Information Technology

Sorry to hear about that, close approximatity all day and easy excuses ofworking late give plenty time for hanky pansy ,more common than you think. Only compensation might to take him to the cleaners 


Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

NEVER NEVER NEVER GO ON TO Rx WEB. IT IS UTTERLY USELESS!!!!! (yes I know I'm shouting but it is truly the most dire PMR system I have ever come across)

SP Ph, Community pharmacist

I disagree. RxWeb is more user friendly than any other PMRs. Speaking from experience, much much easier, web based, no special hardware required other than usual computer which can be changed anytime without losing PMR data, can access from your laptop/ tablet and most important very quick and very helpful Customer Service, who sometimes solve problems with your PC (not related to the PMR). And more importantly no tied in contract, you can leave when you want.

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

Have you ever tried to order something off Rx web?? It is the biggest faff known to man.

Reeyah H, Community pharmacist

Something made me think this was RxWeb too!

SP Ph, Community pharmacist

I dont think so. Because, you don't get anyone visiting your Pharmacy to set up RxWeb. All done over the phone. And one of the best features is to split the lables/ customise the label as and when you want and while dispensing itself. I think it could be the Proscript or the Link, that is being depicted in this topic. May be Xrayser can clarify.

Yvonne Kendall, Pharmacy Asistant/ Medicine Counter Assistant

I had the same thoughts, RX web is so easy to use. Splitting a label a doddle, as you say can be done whilst dispensing, also can go back on pmr and use label feature bottom right.

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

All PMR systems have the facility to split labels but on Rx web, it's quite well hidden. Plus, what happens when your internet goes down??

SP Ph, Community pharmacist

I am not advertising or have any economical interest in the RxWeb.

I don't know when you used the RxWeb (now ClanWilliam) last time. Did you ever go through the training module? Did your ever call the help line to check? Didn't think so.

The split feature is not hidden (at least at the moment) and very prominently visible while dispensing as number of copies and split. 

As for internet, well its just like saying what if there is no electricity? You are supposed to have back up for everything now a days. Remember filling the Business Continuation pack? The N3 connection is very fast and normally never down, except when the NHS digital fails in EPS (which happened quiet frequently in the initial phase. 

In my personal opinion, RxWeb is cost effective, easy to handle PMR system compared to any other PMR system (trust me I have used almost all of them) that comes with freedom of chosing the hardware you use and no tie-ups by expensive contract.

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

I'm using Rx web today (on a locum job - I'm not 100% ex!) and I HATE it. I think we can all agree that the internet goes down far more often than  the electricity grid and right now I am looking at a big fat red blob on Rx web which means that all the ETP scripts waiting for me this morning are just like a fart in the wind.

Lucky Ex-Locum, Superintendent Pharmacist

I use Proscript Connect- it is far and away the best one I have used. Yes it has it's faults but in terms of simplicity, it is a doddle plus you can keep numerous tabs open so you don't have to close things to look at something else (and before anyone asks, no I don't work for them.)

Rajeshvari Patel, Community pharmacist

Hmmm, thanks Xrayser, you’ve just made my mind up for me as I too was considering a change —Nexphase , you are safe for the moment at our pharmacy !

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